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Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

You’re Going To Hear A Lot About The Upcoming EPA’s Pollution Actions

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Greenhouse pollution will come under stricter controls by the EPA in the future.  The agency’s actions will be dictated by a 2007 Supreme Court decision saying the EPA can and should regulate CO2 in the same way it has regulated other sources of pollution in the past.  The new regulations are slated to be implemented starting Sunday, the 2nd of January, 2011.

Of course, the Republican Teabaggers in both chambers of Congress, at the command of the dirty energy industry, will raise absolute hell about any action the EPA takes, Supreme Court decisions they don’t agree with be damned.  Republican Teabaggers have already threatened that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will likely spend more time answering their witch-hunt-driven questions in Congress than in her office.  Imagine what they outcry would be if the Joint Chiefs of Staff spent more of their time responding to subpoenas than in their Pentagon offices.  Of course, this country has a serious warrior-worship problem.  Such concern doesn’t extend to keeping the environment livable for us.

I wanted to share a part of an article from a New York Times writer, John M. Broder.

For the moment, administration officials are treading lightly, fearful of inflaming an already overheated atmosphere on the issue and mindful that its stated priorities are job creation and economic recovery.
No doubt, John or his editor thought it was pretty clever to insert something like “inflaming an already overheated atmosphere” in an article about regulating greenhouse gas pollution.  Unfortunately, the climate system doesn’t take things like irony into account in responding to that pollution.  It can only respond to physical forcing, which it is already doing.
Without being an activist about the issue, John could have noted a few simple facts: while the EPA’s critics are making the same arguments they’ve made for decades, the globe experienced the warmest November on record just one month ago.  It experienced the warmest December-November on record in the past year.  The 2000s were considerably warmer than the 1990s, which was warmer than the 1980s.  Global warming affects are taking place faster and in more locations than the state of the science said it would just a few short years ago.  But I suppose all those things don’t make for clever writing that “journalists” aim for these days.  Cleverness is better received than accuracy.
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